Parish Council response to the Local Plan

The Local Plan consultation ends on Monday, October 30th, and responses need to be returned by then. The Parish COuncil wanted to share the formal response it is sending to the consultation, which may help residents in their own responses.

INTRODUCTION

The Local Plan Preferred Sites (second version) and the Pre-Publication Draft have each been the subject of two public ‘Drop In’ sessions in order to assess public opinion.

The Parish Council does NOT oppose new residential (or industrial) developments – but the Parish Council has never been asked what the village actually needs.  It is only ever asked to comment on CYC proposals and we consider that methodology is simply wrong.

It has also become clear that any new residential development should provide a different mix of properties within the village – particularly needed are larger houses and affordable homes.

Looking at each site:

H39.  Extension to Beckside.

The Parish Council identifies several problems:

·         A Planning Inspector previously determined that H39 serves Green Belt purposes

·         The extra traffic that would be generated from 32 houses would adversely impact on the existing residents of Beckside

·         Density should have been commensurate with the existing Beckside development to minimise any ‘difference’ to the phases.

So, the Parish Council proposes that H39 is withdrawn from the Local Plan and is replaced by:

H26.  Dauby Lane. 

Nearly all residents at our consultations want to link the two residential areas of the village.  Approximately a third of homes in the village are currently to the west of the school, as is the Play Area, Sports Club and Surgery.  H26 is a way of satisfying that need as well as increasing the housing stock.  However H26 should contain a more appropriate mix of housing type, especially larger houses to meet another clearly identified local need.  We consider a total of around 60 residences suitable for this site, i.e. more than H39.  CYC officers are yet again ignoring the wishes of the local community in continuing to impose H39 rather than H26 contrary to the views of residents and the Parish Council.  Why do officers think they know our village better than the residents and the Parish Council?

SP1.  The Stables.  Travelling Showpersons Site.

The previous Planning Inspector’s report was very clear.  CYC should abide by that Planning Inspector’s analysis and decision.

ST15.  Whinthorpe 2/The Airfield.

The Parish Council has concerns with the lack of information provided on the impact on the local area of new infrastructure generally – and particularly the transport links to the A64 and B1228.  The effect on the surrounding countryside would be vast. 

Futhermore it is thought absurd and economically ill-advised to destroy the airfield runway in the way proposed.  The full-length runway should be retained for historical reasons and future strategic need, along with the existing recreational activities that currently take place.  It is itself a major asset for tourism, which is a stated economic strategic priority for York.  Furthermore the adverse impact on the internationally respected Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial would further damage tourism and indeed the reputation of York itself.

There would be a particularly severe ecological impact where ST15 is currently proposed.

If ST15 is to be built, it should be much further north, which would allow for the retention of the airfield runway, and further west to minimise the distance from the A64 – its principal access point.  The A64 clearly separates the site from Heslington and the visual and auditory impact on that village would be minimal.  As it is proposed, ST15 is too close to the villages of Elvington and Wheldrake as well as disproportionate in size to them.  It would dominate the area, when it could and should be sited further away.

As it stands, the Parish Council cannot support the proposal.  It would support ST15 if it was on the originally proposed site alongside the A64 and adjacent to the proposed new junction.

E9.  Elvington Industrial Estate.

The Parish Council supports this site being included in the Local Plan – but points out that it is not a ‘brownfield’ site as described but is a grassy paddock.

ST26.  Airfield Industrial Estate.

The Parish Council supports the extension proposed, but emphasises the need for detailed archaeological and ecological assessments before development.  A gap should be made between the existing and the new estates which would allow for a ‘wildlife corridor’. 

Units should be small, high value businesses consistent with a restriction to B1 and B8 use, as at present, and in line with CYC’s economic strategy.

However the Parish Council’s support is conditional on the imposition of a 7.5 tonne weight limit on Main Street (i.e. the road through the village centre).  There are a disproportionately large number of HGV movements currently through the village impacting on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists – particularly our children walking and cycling to/from school.  The extra traffic generated by ST26 (and E9) would bring further unacceptable HGV traffic passing through the village.

Conclusion.

We ask that the Publication Version of CYC’s Local Plan incorporates ALL of the changes detailed above and it would then be a true reflection of local needs.